Eight (and a half) Questions with Jim Semonik from Distortion Productions
1 TNFTV: How has the pandemic affected DP's strategy and plans for the rest of 2020 and into 2021?
JS: It hasn't affected them too much actually. The Bandcamp days have been a huge help and this has been the most successful Electronic Saviors campaign to date, even with zero touring.
I think we are lucky to have a really strong roster of dedicated and talented artists and we will persist.
2 TNFTV: As a record label boss, are you able to listen to and connect with music as a fan or are you usually in the business mindset?
JS: I still listen as a fan but it is certainly different now. I have been listening to less industrial actually. Not that I am burnt out but I am looking for a bit more diversity in what I listen to these days. I love collecting vinyl now which I never thought I would do.
3 TNFTV: Is there a DP album that you are most proud of to have released?
JS: Hands down, the Respect the Prime releases because it encompasses everything I love...music and pop culture.
4 TNFTV: Who are some bands, either with DP or not, that you are particularly excited about right now?
JS: I'm really excited about Deathline International. What they did with the Troops of Tomorrow cover is incredible. We have been working closer with COP International Records too as they
are long time friends and allies. Blue Eyed Christ, And Void, Silver Walks, and Trade Secrets have really strong new releases as well.
5 TNFTV: Can you imagine DP ever being based anywhere other than Pittsburgh? Is there something about Pittsburgh and DP's history that is an essential part of the core and ethos that defines DP? Or is location entirely irrelevant?
JS: I'd love to relocate to Las Vegas someday. It is my second home. When I was promoting concerts, Distortion had more of a Pittsburgh flavor but the Record Label side of things is more of an international beast. We do have some Pittsburgh bands on the label but they have reached out further than just locally.
6 TNFTV: What sort of vision do you and the DP staff have when looking ahead to the next 5 years and beyond?
JS: Expansion and diversity. We want to keep the sound of the label varied. I think the way to remain interesting is to keep reinventing and releasing new and different projects and collaborations.
7 TNFTV: Is running DP satisfying? Exhausting? Energizing? Fulfilling?
JS: ALL OF THOSE THINGS, haha. There are days where I'm so wiped out that when my head hits the pillow, I'm immediately asleep. But when I get a message from a gracious fan or I hold a new product in my hands, it makes it all worthwhile. I love it.
8 TNFTV: If you could lure one of your favorite artists to DP to collaborate on a release together who would that be?
JS: Chemlab, Xenturion Prime, or Christ Analogue.
8.5 TNFTV: If we were all freed from the constraints of social distancing, working remotely, staying home, etc right now, what’s the first thing you'd do to blow off some steam?
JS: Go to the movies or go on tour to support the new Red Lokust. Both probably.